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ENG8412 Masters Engineering Research Project B

Semester 2, 2015 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 2
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences

Contents on this page


Examiner: Karu Karunasena
Moderator: Ray Malpress


Pre-requisite: ENG8411

Other requisites

Recommended prior study: ENG3902; Recommended concurrent study: ENG4903


Project work undertaken by individuals is a central part of engineering and spatial science practice. At the professional engineer/spatial scientist level project work routinely involves research in the sense that there are non-standard requirements to be met and non-standard problems to be overcome. This course requires the student to complete the project commenced in ENG8411 Masters Dissertation B, and to report the complete work (ENG8411 Masters Dissertation B and ENG8412 Masters Dissertation C together) in the form of an academic research dissertation.


Following satisfactory progress in ENG8411 Masters Dissertation B in the preceding semester of offer, and with the continuing guidance of supervisor/s, the student will further develop skills spanning both the technical and non-technical dimensions of engineering and spatial science at the professional level. The student will study and replicate the rationale, style and format of the academic dissertation and present the total project work (comprising ENG8411 Masters Dissertation B and ENG8412 Masters Dissertation C) as a dissertation.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. take responsibility for a major individual technical task and execute it to an appropriate point of completion;
  2. establish, manage and maintain appropriate interaction and reporting with the designated supervisor during all phases of a major technical task;
  3. interact appropriately with other colleagues, e.g. technical and administrative staff, as necessary in support of the project;
  4. cope with resource and time constraints, both foreseeable and unexpected;
  5. critically review research findings, define their significance and develop optimal solution/s;
  6. demonstrate the ability to apply intellectual rigor whilst completing a major technical task;
  7. ability to solve advanced engineering problems;
  8. prepare an academic dissertation written in a clear, logical, concise and accurate professional style using standard referencing and citation conventions; and
  9. submit a dissertation within a designated timeframe.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Project work in which students will continue and complete the individual project commenced in ENG8411 Masters Dissertation B. These will include some (and often many) of the following: further literature research and evaluation; further analysis of consequences; further planning and management; feasibility assessment; experimental work and trialling; fieldwork; data analysis; design; prototype construction and testing; simulation and modeling; financial analysis. 60.00
2. The work will be undertaken with the guidance of a supervisor or supervisors (appointed from the academic staff of the Faculty). Sponsors and technical advisers external to the Faculty may also be involved. 10.00
3. Dissertation guidance and preparation. 30.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • The project will require full use of the resources of the Library and via the Internet, including literature searches, research papers, journals and trade literature files.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Lectures 2.00
Private Study 90.00
Project Work 156.00
Report Writing 52.00
Supervisor Consultation 30.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
PARTIAL DRAFT DISSERTATION 1 0 16 Sep 2015 (see note 1)
PROJECT PERFORMANCE 100 100 29 Oct 2015 (see note 2)

  1. Refer to Assessment Note 3 in the Assessment Notes of the Course Specification.
  2. Refer to Assessment Notes 4, 5 and 6 in the Assessment Notes of the Course Specification.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend the start of semester introductory session/s and must attend project supervision meetings (normally weekly) as negotiated with or directed by their nominated supervisor/s.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily students must meet the requirements of the item as set out in the ENG8411/8412 Project Reference Book.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be awarded a passing grade in this course, together with course ENG8411 Masters Dissertation B, a student must demonstrate satisfactory performance as set out in the ENG8411/2 Project Reference Book. The grade awarded will then be the same for both ENG8411 and ENG8412.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grade will be determined on the basis of the ENG8412 dissertation which will encompass the entire ENG8411 plus ENG8412 Research Project.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. The following temporary grade will then be awarded IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up).

  2. (i) This is a communication benchmark course and a major component of the assessment of this course will be associated with the demonstration of communication skills. (ii) The required standard of communication skills must be demonstrated in order for a passing grade to be achieved. Substandard communication (in the dissertation) will result in an automatic IM (Incomplete - Make Up) grade irrespective of the quality of the technical work of the project.

  3. PARTIAL DRAFT DISSERTATION. (i) Students are advised to submit a substantial portion of their draft dissertations direct to their supervisor/s for feedback by the date indicated (Assessment No. 1). This is a formative assessment and no result is recorded. (ii) Students submitting a substantial portion of his/her draft dissertation to his/her supervisor/s AFTER the date indicated may receive only limited or zero feedback at the discretion of the supervisor/s.

  4. DEADLINES. (i) The deadline for receipt of the dissertation (?Project Performance?) is 4.00pm on the THURSDAY as indicated in the assessment details above. (ii) The Examiner may grant an extension of this deadline in exceptional circumstances, such as prolonged illness. To ensure equity between students only the Examiner may grant an extension. Application for such an extension must be made in writing to the Examiner and fully justified. The decision will be made with the advice of the supervisor/s. (iii) Students unable to submit, but can prove substantial progress, by this deadline (?Project Performance?) must also state briefly in a letter to the Examiner why they should not be graded F (Fail) at this time. If the reasons given are considered satisfactory, and with the advice of the principal supervisor, then a grade of IM (Incomplete-Make Up) will be awarded. (iv) Projects graded IM for any reason will normally be eligible for a C grade only. (v) The FINAL DEADLINE for project submission is the seventh Wednesday following the examination period for the current semester . Projects not submitted by this final deadline will be automatically graded F (Fail).

  5. DISSERTATION SUBMISSION. (i) Dissertation submission shall be in both electronic and printed form with the physical format for each as follows (and with contents as detailed in the ENG8411/8412 Project Reference Book). A dissertation which does not meet the obligatory requirements of this format will not normally be accepted. (ii) The electronic form for the complete dissertation will normally be a single file in PDF (Adobe Portable Document Format) on a read-only compact disk (CD-R) and TWO (2) identical CDs are required. (iii) The printed copy (for assessment purposes) of the complete dissertation will be at least comb- or spiral-bound and be identical in content to the PDF file. TWO(2) identical copies are required.

  6. PROJECT ASSESSMENT. (i) Assessment of the complete project, ENG8411 together with ENG8412, and project dissertation shall be with respect to the final version of the individual Project Specification (course ENG8411 Masters Dissertation B) and will take into account the degree of difficulty of the work. (ii) Students will not be penalized for unforeseeable events, constraints and other limitations which occur during the execution of the project. (iii) Project assessment may also involve demonstration of hardware constructed, software written and/or inspection of fieldwork as appropriate. (iv) At least two (2) members of academic staff shall perform a detailed assessment in accordance with the protocol set out in the ENG8411/8412 Project Reference Book. (v) The grade recommended by the assessors will remain confidential until various moderation procedures have been conducted by the Examiner. (vi) When a passing or F grade is awarded that grade will also be recorded for ENG8411 Masters Dissertation B. (vii) If an F (Fail) grade is awarded then the student must re-enrol in ENG8412. If such a student does not re-enrol and achieve a passing grade within a period of (normally) twelve (12) months from the first F grade then an F grade will be awarded for BOTH courses ENG8411 Masters Dissertation B and ENG8412 Masters Dissertation C (second enrolment).

  7. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //

Other requirements

  1. ENROLMENT. (i) A student will not be permitted to undertake ENG8412 Masters Dissertation C unless he/she has a current grade of IIP (Incomplete in Progress) in ENG8411 Masters Dissertation B. (ii) Students will normally undertake ENG8412 Masters Dissertation C in the semester of the same year immediately following their completion of ENG8411 Masters Dissertation B. (iii) Simultaneous enrolment in ENG4903 Professional Practice 2 (which encompasses project presentation, including seminars) is expected.

  2. REGULATIONS. The notes and requirements set out in this course specification, together with those of ENG8411 Masters Dissertation B Course Specification, constitute the regulations for postgraduate project work within the Faculty of Engineering and Surveying.

  3. LIMITATIONS OF USE OF PROJECT WORK. (a) The Council of the University of Southern Queensland, its Faculty of Engineering and Surveying, and the staff of the University of Southern Queensland, do not accept any responsibility for the truth, accuracy or completeness of material contained within or associated with this dissertation. (b) Persons using all or any part of this material do so at their own risk, and not at the risk of the Council of the University of Southern Queensland, its Faculty of Engineering and Surveying or the staff of the University of Southern Queensland. (c) This dissertation reports an educational exercise and has no purpose or validity beyond this exercise. The sole purpose of the courses entitled ?Masters Dissertation? is to contribute to the overall education within the student?s chosen degree program. This document, the associated hardware, software, drawings, and other material set out in the associated appendices should not be used for any other purpose: if they are so used, it is entirely at the risk of the user.